John Haggerty, a New York Republican political operative who was indicted Monday for allegedly stealing $1.1 million from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign, was hired recently by gubernatorial candidate and TPM favorite Carl Paladino.
Paladino is the Tea Party candidate whose campaign took a beating after revelations that he regularly sent racist and sexually explicit emails to friends. It took so much of a beating, in fact, that delegates at the recent NY GOP convention voted that he not be allowed to speak.
Paladino credits his new hire, Haggerty, with coming up with the idea for Paladino to nominate himself, according to the Buffalo News.
Haggerty is accused of stealing $1.1 million from the Bloomberg campaign last year that was supposed to go toward ballot security. Instead, Haggerty allegedly used much of the money to buy his childhood home.
But Paladino is sticking by Haggerty and his firm, Special Elections Operations.
“Unlike a typical career politician, Carl Paladino doesn’t throw his friends under the bus,” a Paladino spokesman said today. “John joined our campaign just 45 days ago and he quickly became a part of our family. He’s a loyal and straightforward man of character.
“We are satisfied with John’s version of events and he will remain on our team in his present capacity,” he added.
Haggerty has also been working to gather enough signatures to get Paladino’s name on the ballot for the September primary.